Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Things I'd like to achieve in 2015/2016 Review

In September 2015 I wrote this post here including a list of things that I wanted to achieve between then and now.  Before now I have never had a great deal of confidence in myself in being able to achieve the things that I want in life, but from doing these simple lists it has helped me to realise that this should not be the case, and that I am capable of achieving my goals. 

1. Attend at least one workshop or course and learn something new.

During my visit to Kirstie's Handmade Christmas Fair back in November, I participated in a few craft workshops, one I really enjoyed being book folding.  I also signed up to a pottery course earlier this year and although the class was cancelled due to a lack of interest, I did go along to a taster session that was organised, so am happy to say that this point can be crossed off the list.

2. Join a yoga class.

I started this right away in September of last year.  I did stop going around January time but can report that I have been attending again over the past month and intend to continue with this.  It is something I have really come to enjoy and it helps with my anxieties and stress levels too.

3. Read at least 6 books.

I actually find this one the hardest one to believe.  I did it, I read 6 books.
Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Getting Even by Sarah Rayner
Welcome to my World by Miranda Dickinson
Highland Fling by Katie Fforde
Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson

4. Learn to Write Calligraphy.

Ok so this is one I didn't manage to do.  But I still want to give it a go, so something to add to this years list perhaps.

5. Love Myself More.

This one has been a hard one and I think it's safe to say, still needs a lot of work.  I have been trying to go out more, socialising with friends and doing the things that I enjoy.  I have had a lot of time to myself to think about things recently and know that this is something that need to be continually worked on and I intend to do just that.

6. Complete at least one craft project each month for a whole year.

I can't say I have done this and recently I seem to have lost my crafting mojo.  There have been a few creations but not as many as I'd hoped for.  My favourite though has to be my Peter Rabbit bookmark.

7. Create Monthly Goals / To Do Lists

I have really enjoyed doing these and I'd definitely say that they have helped e to achieve a lot of what I wanted to get out of each month, that and the fact that I love a list.
I have thought about whether this will be something that I will carry on over the next year.  At the moment in all honesty, I don't know.  I feel that because I have done so well with each months list over the past year, I'm not sure what I could add to each month this year moving forward.  It would be nice for the lists to be different to allow me to gain the most out of them, but I'm struggling for ideas.   

A pretty productive year on the list front, I'm happy with that.  I've just got to wrack my brains now to see what I can come up with for this next year ahead.  Then again I have my 30 before 30 list to contend with so that may well be enough for one year. 

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hitchin Lavender Farm

Last month I headed out to Hitchin in Hertfordshire with Marie in tow.  We had a picnic packed and an exciting day planned at the Lavender Farm.

I've wanted to visit a lavender farm for quite some time now, so I was really looking forward to getting there and seeing it for myself after admiring endless images on Instagram.  It did not disappoint.

The field seemed to go on for miles, it was literally a sea of purple.  Absolutely stunning and the smell was incredible.  We walked from one end of the field to the through the rows of lavender, taking it all in and soaking up the atmosphere.  The sound of bees buzzing away was so relaxing and the pretty purple flowers dancing in the wind mesmerizing.

We both spent the whole day saying to each other, I just can't believe how much of it there is or it just looks so beautiful.  We were both blown away by it all.

I'm so glad we managed to see it.  We also picked loads too, now I've just got to decide what I'm going to do with it all.  Any suggestions will be greatly received.

~ Gem x

Monday, 15 August 2016

Down Hall Spa and Afternoon Tea

During my blogging break I was treated to the most lovely day out by my wonderful mum, with my sister in law to be, for our birthday's.  We were to be spending the day at Down Hall in their stunning spa complete with a massage, followed by afternoon tea in the hotel.

Driving up the main driveway the hotel soon came into view.  It is such a stunning and beautiful building, very grand indeed.  I couldn't wait to catch a glimpse inside.

Arriving at the spa we were greeted by the friendly staff, who gave us a quick tour of the facilities and showed us to our lockers.  The spa itself was fairly small but perfectly adequate for our needs, with a steam room and sauna, relaxation room, hydrotherapy pool and a small outdoor terrace area with comfy sun loungers.

We helped ourselves to the drinks on hand and spent a good couple of hours chilling out, chatting away and generally letting go of all our worries.  The massage was amazing, I could quite easily have fallen asleep afterwards and the rest of the time in the spa was spent in the relaxation room making the most of being able to get away with doing as little as possible.  

Once we'd finished in the spa we headed over to the main hotel for our afternoon tea.  Again the staff were lovely, however there could have been more of them, as due to a lack of staff the service was very slow.  The afternoon tea itself though was great and I loved the Wimbledon theme that they had taken on, it worked really well. 

I'll definitely be returning back to Down Hall to use the spa facilities, it really is a great place to loose yourself for a couple of hours.  With it only being a short drive from home, I'm slightly annoyed with myself that I've not taken advantage of it before now, so there is lots of catching up to be done.

~ Gem x

Monday, 8 August 2016

My List of 30 Before 30

I've seen loads of these lists knocking about on the internet and as an avid fan of lists and now being less than a year away from 30, I thought I'd have a crack at doing my own list of 30 things I'd like to do before I reach 30.

1. Climb the roof of the O2.

2. Cross something off my bucket list.

3. Hatch some butterflies.

4. Visit a lavender farm.

5. Go for a walk or a run in the rain.

6. Ride in a hot air balloon.

7. Travel somewhere new.

8. Watch a film in an outdoor space.

9. Improve my cooking skills.

10. Start some form of exercise.

11. Get some henna.

12. Try my hand at vlogging.

13. Spend more time on myself.

14. Have a meal at Forest Restaurant in London.

15. Visit the Emma Bridgewater factory.

16. Try a new afternoon tea experience.

17. Experience Christmas at Kew Gardens.

18. Spend at least one day by the coast.

19. Pay a visit to London's Sky Garden.

20. Do something spontaneous.

21. Grow something beautiful.

22. Make something to keep me warm through my 30's.

23. Try a food I've never tried before.

24. Go and see a ballet performance.

25. Travel away for a break somewhere alone.

26. Find a new challenge.

27.  Acquire a taste for coffee.

28. Watch the Harry Potter films.

29. Visit the Harry Potter studios.

30. Make a list of 40 things to do before I reach 40.

I'll try to keep you updated on my progress as the year goes on.  I've tried not to make it too ambiguous in a hope to actually achieve the points I've listed but time will tell I guess.  Wish me luck.

~ Gem x

Friday, 5 August 2016

August Bucket List

Another month of 2016 has been and gone and we are now supposedly in the full throws of summer here in the UK, although some days looking out the window you may disagree.

This month I'm planning on taking things easy and trying to regain some form of normality within my life, so there's not really so much of a monthly bucket list for August.  I intend to spend some time on myself, catching up with friends and getting things on the blog up to date.  I have a load of posts in draft so I really need to pull my finger out and get those published. 

Hope you all have a great month.

~ Gem